Steve Irwin’s children Bindi and Robert have praised their late father for showing them another side to animals that are often feared.
The Irwins, including Steve’s wife Terri, joined Matthew Wright on talkRADIO’s afternoon show to talk about their upcoming new series Crikey! It’s the Irwins, which premieres on Animal Planet on October 28.
“We always did everything together as a family and it always involved wildlife,” said Bindi, 20.
“One of my earliest memories is when we were catching alligators in Florida - dad would catch these giant alligators and get them into the boat and measure them and see how they were doing to make sure the population was healthy.
“I remember vividly, I was obsessed with the alligator’s feet and legs.
“Like you said, people can be afraid of things like crocodiles or sharks and spiders if they don’t know enough about them. For me, from an early age, I experienced crocodiles up close and I discovered their feet and legs were really soft and squishy.
“I would sit there for like 20 mins to half an hour just playing with their feet and feeling their soft nose - I was tiny, a few years old!”
Steve Irwin and son Robert in 2006. Image: Getty
Son Robert, 14, also joked about an incident in 2004, where Irwin was criticised for holding his then-one-month-old son while feeding a crocodile.
“I’m still here!” Robert joked.
He added that “there are always going to be people who are critical of what you’re doing, but for me and Bindi, this has always been our life.”
“Living at the zoo, growing up around all these animals has been the most amazing childhood,” he said.
“I feel so lucky to have the family I do. Mum and dad are the most enthusiastic conservationists.”
Like his father, who was famous for his relationship with crocodiles, Robert said he wants to “show people the other side of these creatures” about predators like crocodiles and tigers.
Irwin died in 2006 after a stingray barb pierced his heart while filming an underwater documentary.
Terri and the children continue to run Australia Zoo, which was founded by Irwin’s parents.
Watch the full interview above.